Phil Mickelson apologizes for explosive Saudi golf feedback, loses sponsor

Sports


The place Phil Mickelson’s golf profession goes from right here is unsure, however he’s taking a step again after being at the center of controversy surrounding the Saudi Golf League attempting to lure PGA Tour gamers.

Mickelson, 51, issued a statement Tuesday on social media through which he apologized for explosive feedback about Saudis he made to golf author Alan Shipnuck, whose Mickelson biography comes out in Might. Mickelson additionally claimed there have been “off the record comments being shared out of context and without my consent,” which Shipnuck tweeted is “completely false.” The six-time main winner ended his assertion saying he “desperately need[s] some time away to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.”

Whether or not that features a hiatus from golf is unclear.

KPMG ended its sponsorship cope with Mickelson on Tuesday, in line with the Related Press, a choice the corporate described as mutual. Mickelson mentioned in his assertion he’s given his companions “the option to pause or end the relationship.” In line with Forbes, Mickelson made $40 million from endorsements between Might 2020 and Might 2021.

Phil Mickelson is under fire for explosive comments about Saudis.
Phil Mickelson is below fireplace for explosive feedback about Saudis.
Photograph by Oisin Keniry/Getty Pictures

Mickelson admitted to Shipnuck he was cautious of doing enterprise with Saudi Arabia however was keen to due to points he has with the PGA Tour.

“They’re scary motherf—ers to get involved with,” he mentioned in a chunk by Shipnuck posted on The Fire Pit Collective. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates. They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse. As nice a guy as [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] comes across as, unless you have leverage, he won’t do what’s right. And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want [the SGL] to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour.”

On Tuesday, Mickelson described these feedback as “reckless” and mentioned he was “deeply sorry” for making them.

Lots of the high gamers on the PGA Tour have rejected the Saudi league, and a few, together with Rory McIlroy and Billy Horschel, blasted Mickelson for his comments.

Golf
Phil Mickelson taking part in on the PIF Saudi Worldwide in early February.
Getty Pictures

“I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down, obviously, but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant,” McIlroy instructed reporters Sunday on the Genesis Invitational.

Horschel instructed the Fairways of Life podcast Mickelson’s feedback concerning the PGA Tour’s “obnoxious greed” have been “idiotic,” and he believes Mickelson is “tarnishing his legacy a little bit.”

In a mailbag on The Fire Pit Collective, Shipnuck hit again at Mickelson’s “off the record” declare.

“Not once in our texts or when we got on the phone did Mickelson request to go off-the-record and I never consented to it; if he had asked, I would have pushed back hard, as this was obviously material I wanted for the book,” Shipnuck wrote. “Mickelson simply called me up and opened a vein. To claim now that the comments were off-the-record is false and duplicitous.”



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